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Bruce Furr Collection Edit

Summary

Identifier
WASH 043
Finding Aid Author
Randall Bunn
Finding Aid Date
July 2018
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Dates

  • 1853-01-01 – 2017-05-01 (Creation)

Extents

  • 3 Cubic Feet (Whole)

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    This collection contains Mormon history materials collected by Bruce Furr between 1962 - 1988. While an undergraduate and graduate student at Brigham Young University, Furr was a research assistant to Dr. Hyrum Andrus, a professor in the BYU Religion Department. During that time and in subsequent decades, Furr collected copies of articles, journals, research indices, and papers on various topics in Mormon history. He also acquired a 300 volume library related to Mormon history and theology.

  • Biographical / Historical

    James Bruce Furr was born on July 20, 1940 in Provo, Utah. Furr graduated from Provo High School and attended Brigham Young University for two years before serving as an LDS missionary in the Northern California Mission from 1961-1963. While on his mission, Furr also served for a time in the San Bruno area south of San Francisco. Furr did not grow up with a strong knowledge of Mormon history or doctrine. It was while serving as a missionary that he developed an interested in Mormon Church history.

    Following his mission he returned to BYU where he majored in Physics with minors in Math and Chemistry. He graduated with a B.S. in 1965 and went on to obtain an MBA from BYU in 1967. Around the time he received his MBA, he became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). While at BYU he was a research assistant and did work for several professors of religion including Hyrum Andrus, Chad Flake, Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, and La Mar Barrett. Through them Furr acquired copies of Mormon history materials. Furr also met other writers of Mormon history including Leonard Arrington, Ogden Kraut, and Jerald Tanner. Furr bought numerous books by Kraut and Tanner. Furr also met Mormon authors, Chauncey Riddle, Juanita Brooks, and Church President Harold B. Lee.

    Following his graduation from BYU, Furr worked for General Dynamics in San Diego, California. He then moved to Virginia in 1971 where he worked for Farmers Insurance Company for five years. Furr then started his own insurance company which he ran for 20 years until his retirement in 1997. He continued to collect historical documents and books related to Mormon history until the early 1990s. Furr holds a firearms license, was a firearms dealer and a gun club instructor. He moved to Washington, Utah around 2015 with Ruth, his wife of over 50 years.

  • Scope and Contents

    The collection consists of three cubic feet boxes comprising 111 folders in four series of printed textual research materials. The materials include originals, handwritten notes, and photocopies on various aspects of Mormon history. All books and many reproductions were removed from the archival collection and added to the Special Collections and can be found through the Library Catalog.

    Series 1 - Research, contains five subseries including research consisting of primary works, secondary works, Furr's class notes and other notes while at BYU, academic papers, and research compilations.

    Series 1, Subseries 1 - Primary research, are in Box 1, folders 1-8. It includes Ebenezer Robinson, "The Return" (1888-1890, copied in 1966); the transcription of the debates between Hyrum Andrus and J.D. Williams (1967); the transcript of film, "The Godmakers" (1987); materials of the RLDS about meeting with LDS missionaries (undated); the "B.H. Roberts Defense Before Congress" (1898); copyright entries of works by and about Mormons to 1829-1870 (copied in 1973); John Zahnd's manuscript on Mormons (abt 1928, copied 1967); and Hugh Nibley and Sterling McMurrin correspondence (1960).

    Series 1, Subseries 2 - Secondary Research, consists of Box 1, Folders 9-34 and Box 2, Folders 1-3. It includes: research notes by Hyrum Andrus (1966); a listing of LDS Historical Department Task Papers (1980); historical research regarding Joseph Smith (undated); History of African American in the LDS Church (1969); a paper on the topic of "Christ Being the Redeemer of This World Alone" (1977); Hugh Nibley articles in LDS Church publications (1953-1957), research on the LDS temples (abt 1967); bibliographies prepared by Hugh Nibley (abt 1965); an article on Mark Hoffman from the Los Angeles Times (1987); a collection of various Mormon 19th century historical articles (abt 1898, copied 1965); talk by Fawn Brodie (1970); Hugh Nibley’s “Since Cumorah” articles in The Improvement Era (1964-65); Furr's collection of LDS-related contact addresses on Mormon history sources (undated); passages from the "Course on Miracles" (1982); a compilation of excerpts on the 'Adam-God Doctrine' (undated); the Lundwall microfilm index (1966); a paper on the "Sealing Power of the LDS Priesthood" (undated); and three folders containing the Ivins Index (undated, but copy made from microfilm about 1968).

    Series 1, Subseries 3 - Class Notes and Other Notes, consists of Box 2, Folders 4-10. It includes: notes from Furr's and a colleague's religion and philosophy classes at BYU (1963-1970).

    Series 1, Subseries 4 - Academic Papers, consists of Box 2, Folders 11-15. It includes: undergraduate academic research papers on various Mormon history topics including ones on "Thomas Sharp" (1988); "New Mormon History" (1977); "Council of Fifty" (1967); "Bishop's Courts," and "Possible Book of Mormon Sites" (1977); and "Possible Book of Mormon Sites (1966).

    Series 1, Subseries 5 - Compilations, consists of Box 2, Folders 16-19. It includes: three volumes of extracts and quotations from Mormon history grouped in topics alphabetically (1962).

    Series 2 - Journals, consists of Box 2, Folders 20-45, and Box 3, Folders 1-19. It includes: journals, short biographies, autobiographies and personal history extracts of various 19th century Mormon pioneers arranged alphabetically (original writings from various dates, copied abt 1963-1979).

    Series 3 - Newsletters, consists of Box 3, Folders 20-28. It includes: newsletters of Mormon history and other books for sale by Rick Grunder Books (1987-1988); newsletters from the Reorganized LDS Church perspective called "Restoration" (1984-1985); newsletters from Sandra and Jerald Tanner Modern Microfilm Co. (later Utah Lighthouse Ministry), called "The Salt Lake City Messenger" (1964-2005).

    Series 4 - Miscellaneous, consists of Box 3, Folders 29-31. It includes: a folder of with the BYU 10th Stake Priesthood Correlation Handbook (1970); a folder with "Sermon Notes" self-published by a Mormon Furr met while serving his church mission (1961-1963); and a Mormon ward cook book from Vienna, VA when Furr was living there (1972).

  • Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into four series: Series 1 - Research; Series 2 - Journals; Series 3 - Newsletters; and Series 4 - Miscellaneous. Series 1 has four subseries: Primary Research, Secondary Research, Class Notes and Other Notes, and Academic Papers. The arrangement is topically within each series though most items are unique in nature. Subseries 1 - Primary Research is in Box 1, Folders 1-8, consisting of 8 folders of Mormon-related writings. Subseries 2 - Secondary Research is in Box 1, Folders 9-34 and Box 2 Folders 1-3, consisting of various types of research and articles primarily related to Mormon history. Subseries 3 - Class Notes and Other Notes is in Box 2, Folder 4-10 and is arranged chronologically consisting of notes from various classes at BYU in the 1960s. Subseries 4 - Academic Papers is in Box 2, Folders 11-15 and is arranged alphabetically by author. Series 2 - Journals is in Box 2, Folders 20-43 and Box 3, Folders 1-19 and is arranged alphabetically by journal author. Series 3 - Newsletters is in Box 3, Folders 20-28 and is arranged chronologically within each set of newsletters. Series 4 - Miscellaneous in in Box 3, Folders 29-31 and consists of three unique items.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item description & date, WASH 043 Bruce Furr Collection, Dixie State University Special Collections & Archives.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open and freely available to researchers during Special Collections' hours or by appointment. Reproduction and use of the materials in this collection are subject to copyright law. Dixie State University Library Special Collections and Archives holds the copyright to unpublished material in the collection that is not in the public domain. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist and a correct citation provided. A user may be asked to submit a "Request for one-time use of photocopies or reproductions" form in order to obtain reproductions. In addition, access to the following academic papers are restricted as indicated in the notes section for those respective folders: Box 2, folder 12, Box 2, folder 13, Box 2, folder 14 and Box 2, folder 15.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Reproduction and use of the materials in this collection are subject to copyright law. Dixie State University Library Special Collections and Archives holds the copyright to unpublished material in the collection that is not in the public domain. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist and a correct citation provided. A user may be asked to submit a "Request for one-time use of photocopies or reproductions" form in order to obtain reproductions.

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